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If you were asked where you might find trees that are covered in hair and just love to be buried in snow, or others that only grow to be 50cm high, what would you say?
In fact these - and many other fascinating, rare and endangered species - can all be found in Scotland’s endangered mountain woodlands, which are the subject of a fascinating new exhibition at the Glenmore Visitor Centre.
Focusing on efforts to conserve this unique resource, the free, year-round exhibition gives visitors the opportunity to find out all about how plants and animals adapt and cope with the harsh and difficult mountain habitat.
Speaking ahead of the official opening of the Action for Mountain Woodlands exhibition (Thursday 25 February), Simon Hodge, the new chief executive of Forest Enterprise, said:
“This is a really exciting exhibition that shows the rich biodiversity of Scotland’s mountain woodlands – but it also highlights the threat that this incredible resource is under.
“For example the woolly willow is now critically endangered in Scotland because most of its 13 remaining populations are small and are threatened through overgrazing and changing climatic conditions.
“This exhibition will hopefully help to raise awareness both of this and other rare species, and of the challenges in conserving this environment and the habitats that sustain wildlife.”
The ‘Action for Mountain Woodlands’ exhibition includes a hands-on discovery tunnel where children can meet the creatures that depend on mountain woodlands for food and shelter as well as audio visual material on the plants and animals of mountain woodlands.
Visitors can also test their newly acquired knowledge of the mountain environment and find out if they could conserve these special mountain trees in the harsh climatic conditions of the hill.
The exhibition has been backed by the Heritage Lottery Memorial Fund and has involved Highland Birchwoods, Forestry Commission Scotland and other partners.
For more information visit www.mountainwoodlands.org
1) Forestry Commission Scotland serves as the Scottish Government’s forestry directorate and manages the 665,000 hectare national forest estate. Climate change is the biggest threat facing the planet and Scottish forestry is playing its part in helping tackle climate change. Forestry Commission Scotland is continuing to protect, manage and expand Scotland’s forests and woodlands in a way which helps in the fight against climate change. www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland
2) Glenmore is home to some of the highest records for Scots pines growing at altitude in the UK.
3) Woolly willow is a UKBAP Priority Species and is included on the Scottish Biodiversity List. It is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, as amended. Subarctic willow scrub is also an Annex I habitat type listed on the EC Habitats Directive. Woolly willow is present in a planted area within Glenmore but is not naturally present at this location?
4) The Action for Mountainwoodlands project is managed by Highland Birchwoods and in partnership with Forestry Commission Scotland, SNH, Cairngorm Mountain Trust, Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park and Trees for Life.
5) Action for Moutnain Woodlands project manager, Dr. William Bodles, 07853 277335 or firstname.lastname@example.org